Apple has released iOS 15.6.1 and iPadOS 15.6.1 for iPhone and iPad worldwide. The updates bring a pair of critical security fixes, but should you upgrade given iOS 15’s history of instability? Here’s everything you need to know.
Tip: bookmark this page as I will update it if/when new issues are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.
Who is it for?
Apple iOS 15.6.1 and iPadOS 15.6.1 are for all iOS 15 compatible devices; this means iPhone 6S (2015) and newer and iPad Air 2 (2014) and newer. Since Apple admits automatic update delays, it is best to trigger the update manually by going to Settings > General > Software Update. If you are using newer beta software (see “The Road Ahead” section at the end), you must unenroll your device before the update appears.
Note: This guide does not focus on older iOS, iPadOS, or macOS updates, but I will address relevant issues in these guides.
The market breakers
After a rocky start, the latest versions of iOS 15 have been increasingly stable and bug-free; and signs are also good for iOS 15.6.1.
Twenty-four hours after release, the only reported concerns are with previous bugs (video quality import into Premiere Pro, Apple Watch sync issues) and isolated startup and Finder issues, none of which have traction.
For jailbreakers, caution is in order, although Pangu is making progress with iOS 15 jailbreaks and the Odyssey team promises an iOS 15 jailbreak using a tool called ‘Cheyote’. That said, given the severity of the iOS 15.6.1 patch flaws, you might want to rethink your priorities (more below).
So what do you get?
Apple’s iOS 15.6.1 release notes are minimal and only say: “This update provides important security updates and is recommended for all users.”
Yes, the update has no new features, but the big news can be found on Apple’s official security page. iOS 15.6.1, iPadOS 15.6.1 and macOS Monterey 12.5.1 all contain fixes for two zero-day vulnerabilities (CVE-2022-32894 – found in Kernel and CVE-2022-32893 – WebKit), both of which Apple believes “may have been actively exploited.”
The flaws allow hackers to run potentially malicious code on iPhones, iPads, Macs and MacBooks. This makes releases extremely important and priority updates for all users.
Apple iOS 15.6.1 Verdict: Upgrade
At this point, iOS 15 has proven itself to be still reliable, and iOS 15.6.1 looks set to follow that trend. Yes, isolated issues remain, but no software is ever bug-free. My advice is to update as soon as possible.
Note: Reluctant upgraders can bookmark this guide as it will be updated with any relevant glitches or features I find. I will post my final verdict here in a week.
The road to follow
At press time, Apple hasn’t released another iOS 15 beta, and the company is now fully focused on iOS 16, with a fourth beta released earlier this week. At this point, unless serious bugs are discovered, I suspect it’s the end of the line for iOS 15. It might also be time for iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPad Air 2 owners and iPad Mini 4 to move on as they are not supported by iOS 16.
If you want to try this next-gen update sooner, you can get it on Apple’s beta software program ahead of its scheduled release in September.
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